Twenty-one monks became ill with diarrhea and vomiting after eating watermelons at the cultural celebration of Bun Pkar in Battambang province. As of yesterday afternoon, two of the ailing monks were still in the hospital in critical condition.
Others had returned to their Koun Klong pagoda of Prey Domrei village in Moung Russey district, where the celebration took place yesterday and the suspected tainted fruit was eaten.
The district police chief, Kith Heang, said: “After questioning, during the celebration that day, some villagers claimed that they bought some watermelons from the market and some bought it from a fruit seller on the street in the village to offer to the monks.
They really had no idea that the watermelons were poisoned.”
After their investigation, police are certain the fruit was poisoned. They urge dany villager suffering symptoms to be treated at the hospital.
Chief Heang said: “After doing the forensics, we are sure that the watermelons were poisoned.
We will also run a campaign to alert all the villagers about this type of fruit and make sure they go to the hospital if they vomit often or have diarrhea.”